Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/369

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1328 A.D.]
309
Campaign of Weardale.

bold and hardy, armed after the manner of their country, and mounted upon little hackneys, that are never tied up or dressed, but turned immediately after the day's march to pasture on the heath or in the fields. This army was commanded by two valiant captains. The King of Scotland himself, who had been very brave, yet being old and labouring under a leprosy, appointed for one that gallant prince so renowned in arms, the Earl of Moray.... The other was Sir James Douglas, esteemed the bravest and most enterprising Knight in the two Kingdoms."

Set against this the reference by Holinshed to the contrast between the soldiery of the two nations, and it is not difficult to realise what led the Scots in later years to nickname their hereditary foes the "pock-puddings."

"Bicause the English souldiers of this armie were cloathed all in cotes and hoods embrodered with floures and branches verie seemlie, and vsed to nourish their beards, the Scots in derision thereof made a rime, which they fastened vpon the church doores of saint Peter-toward-Stangate, conteining this that followeth:

Longe beardes, hartelesse,
Paynted hoodes, witlesse,
Gaie cotes, gracelesse,
Make Englande thriftlesse."

These gay coats were the liveries of the great feudal barons, with whom it was a point of honour to excel in the splendour of their retinues; but many years of enforced economy had taught the Scots lords to despise, or at least to dispense with, such magnificence. The troops, however, thus described were drawn from the midland and southern

    more likely to be right in mentioning 10,000 "guid men." Sir T. Gray says that "restoit ge poy des gentz"—they were only a few in number—compared, that is, to the English army.